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Eating America: Crisis, Sustenance, Sustainability

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Edited By Justyna Kociatkiewicz, Laura Suchostawska and Dominika Ferens

This volume of essays examines the relationship between eating and crisis. The United States’ long-lasting economic and cultural hegemony raises a number of questions: Has America been – literally and metaphorically – eating, appropriating, exploiting, and molding the world in its own image, or has it been eaten, appropriated, and exploited as a (frequently criticized or disdained) source of ideas, ideology, and knowledge? What is the relation between the current ecological crisis and America’s consumerist economy, with its practices of food production and consumption, and its use of natural resources? What is America’s role in the ongoing crisis of modernity? And, if the crisis continues, where are the sources of sustenance?
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Consuming the Artist, Consuming the Image: Marina Abramović 2001 MOCA Gala Controversy: Justyna Wierzchowska

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The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles (MOCA) was founded in 1980 and is the only museum in Los Angeles devoted entirely to contemporary art, that is art created after 1940, both European and American. Among its holdings, there are works by major artists of the 20th century, among them Piet Mondrian, Franz Kline, American Abstract Expressionists, major representatives of Pop art and second wave feminism. Unlike the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, MOCA receives minimal government funding, does not have a steady income and thus relies mostly on donations. In effect, in recent years, due to the global economic crisis, the museum has constantly struggled with financial difficulties. One of the ways to raise money for MOCA is the annual Gala, which was started in 2007 as a “single-evening, experimental artwork conceived by some of the most outstanding visual artists working today” (“MOCA Announces”). For example, the 2007 Gala was directed by the celebrated Japanese artist Takashi Murakami, then in 2009 by the Italian artist and filmmaker Francesco Vezzoli, who invited dancers from the Bolshoi Ballet and Lady Gaga to perform for MOCA. At the event, Lady Gaga’s “piano customized in pink and blue butterfly motifs by … Damien Hirst” was auctioned for $450,000 in support of MOCA (“MOCA Announces”). In 2011,and this is the focal point of this essay, the Gala was directed by the ultimate star of performance art Marina Abramović, who invited an icon of music and popular culture, Deborah Harry (aka Blondie)...

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